One Man Army

Yesterday morning I rolled out of bed to a “I love you” text from my 63 year old friend Dee(short for Darcy) alongside a link to a video of an artist I had never heard before.

Although the song was sad, I  felt invigorated after listening and searched for more tracks from Dee-1. I was happy to find that he challenges the status quo.

A baby faced Dee-1 uplifts me and I float through the day humming this song.

Dee-1, stop calling people stupid. I hate that word. Maybe misguided, never stupid. However, I’m sure “stupid”  doesn’t compare to the words I call people when I’m driving *covers mouth.

Feel good.

More food for thought.

He cares about our health.

Later that night I smiled as my friend’s 10 year old daughter giggled while listening to Sallie Mae Back.

Now I have two friends named Dee who have my heart. I love that his positive message transcends age, religion, gender, race, and politics. I love that  this former math teacher, who readily admits to not being perfect, has stayed consistent in his message since he started his career years ago. His motto is “Be real. Be righteous.Be relevant”. He walks alone on his beaten path  yet is able to give back so much to the world. You can find out more about him here.Thank you Dee-1!

Do you see what I see?

I used to tremble in fear when people looked at me, wondering if they could see through me and know that I wasn’t worth anything. Painstakingly, I worked my way through that phase in my life. I did this by exposing myself to different environments and people. I faced some rejection but the benefits of baring myself to the world were rewarding more than anything else.   Though still shy and awkward, I am much more comfortable with being me.

I’ve watched people shy away from my stare much like I used to . Do you see what I see?  I don’t care what your background is, when I look at you I see limitless potential. I don’t care what your background is, I am proud that you got out of bed today to face this world and all of it’s challenges. Maybe you didn’t get out of bed but instead cried and released something gnawing at you. You’ll get out of bed tomorrow. Celebrate your smallest achievements, they are no less grand or meaningful than that of your peers.

I feel like I am worthy of love, happiness and appreciation. All I see when I look at people is beauty and maybe that is what people see when they look at me. You might be perceptive, intuitive, able to discern peoples moods because you are an observer. This does not make you a mind reader. Don’t sabotage yourself by guessing what people think. You are the person you have to live with 24/7, be more concerned with what you think about yourself. It’s not easy but we can do it!

Have a beautiful week!

 

 

Njagabaar bi

November 2014

Djoudj National Park. North of St. Louis, Senegal.

IMG_9639

Waiting for our tour guide.

IMG_9607

Puffer fish.

Finally onboard our boat, we watched awestruck as women waded neck deep in the water gathering water lillies. Traditionally dressed with headwraps, they gracefully bobbed up and down to cut the flower at the stem. They sell the flowers at a market. We did not photograph the women.IMG_9757

 

 

IMG_9692

IMG_9769

Our first glimpse…

 

IMG_9864

Breeding grounds of the Great White Pelican(Njagabaar bi in Wolof. Wolof is the language of Senegal.)

 

IMG_9891IMG_9924IMG_9926

 

IMG_0028IMG_0031IMG_0050IMG_0064IMG_0088IMG_0141IMG_0143IMG_0181

IMG_0194

IMG_0200

We saw a variety of birds in Djoudj National Park. I identified egrets and herons. The park has over 400 species of birds and  other wildlife. You can read more about the Great White Pelican here.

Laamb!

November 2o14 . Dakar, Senegal. Better late than never.

The language of Senegal is Wolof. Laamb is the Wolof word for wrestling.

IMG_0350

IMG_0358

Whoever is thrown to the ground first is the winner. Hands only!

IMG_0353IMG_0359

IMG_0381

The bottles contain herb laced infusions that the players use to bath with. It is prepared by a marabout(Muslim religious leader) and is supposed to protect the players.

IMG_0468

IMG_0372

IMG_0373

 

 

IMG_0524

A loser pouring libations. He dug a hole in the earth and poured what appeared to be water in it. He then drank the water from the earth and  bathed his face and shoulders with it.

IMG_0523

 

IMG_0413

Peanut ladies

IMG_0533

IMG_0491

Enjoying the show.

 

IMG_0396

Dancing while they watch the match.

IMG_0402

IMG_0351

Wearing gris-gris , leather charms that have Koran verses on them.

IMG_0405

 

IMG_0494

The drummers played all night long even as  dignitaries make their entrance.

IMG_0370

IMG_0534

The singers.

IMG_0538

IMG_0549

The amateurs had their turn. The pros arrived.

IMG_0552

Unfortunately, my camera died after this. And so did my voice. If you’d like to learn more about Senegalese wrestling, you can read  Here.